I think it’s kinda funny, since God can be a very humorous sorta deity, that the word “longing” makes up the majority of the word “belonging”.
I mean, isn’t that what we all long for, at least part of the time? We want to belong. We want to be part of something. We want to be accepted and loved. We long to BE.
I’ve spent most of my life not knowing where I belong, never being sure of myself. I was never gripped by a desire to do something so much that I “just knew” it was my “calling”, it was what I was supposed to do.
I’m sure that a lot of people who know me in real life may not think words like “insecure”, “doubting”, “confused” and “aimless” describe me, but they do. I mean, they sure describe how I feel about myself.
I hate the feeling I have when I’m chatting in a small group or even one on one. Before long, another person comes along and suddenly all attention is toward that person who (usually) I don’t know. It’s not that I’ve lost the person’s attention but that I sorta cease to exist. Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t know what to do with myself.
This happens on a pretty regular basis and it’s not with one particular person or group. And I don’t even think people realize that it bothers me. I feel like, “Okay…no one’s talking with me anymore. No one is including me in this conversation. Do I leave? I feel like I’m eavesdropping or creeping if I just hover around the outside of this circle. Do I say bye? See ya later? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!” Most of the time, I’ll just wander quietly away, leaving the group or the other two people talking. Most of the time, I don’t think anyone notices.
I really need to know if I’m the only one this happens to. I mean, if not, then thank God and give me some tips on how to deal with it. But if I am “the only one” who experiences this, well shoot, that’s pretty doggone sad!!
So with that little glimpse inside my mind, you should get a sense of how I feel a lot of the time. Just insecure, uncertain if people like me, doubtful that they want to talk with me, confused about how I can feel this way but be able to get up in front of a roomful of people and give a talk.
I’ve pondered this a lot, as you might imagine. Why am I this way? Why do I feel so unsure about whether I am liked by others, whether I’m wanted in a particular group? The conclusion I’ve drawn is that I still carry a statement in my head that my mother said to me once. Don’t worry. This isn’t gonna become a mom-blaming post. I love my mom, but she said something to me once that I’ve carried with me. Well, no. That makes it sound like I choose to carry it. It has just followed me, stuck on a loop in my mind sometimes. Other times, I only hear it when something like the above situation happens.
I was probably around ten or eleven years old at the time. We were probably at a baptism or something after church. I remember being in a sort of overgrown area, gravel and bunches of Queen Anne’s lace and clover. Baptisms were done outside in the creek, of course! My closest friend had asked if I wanted to come play ball at her sister’s house with all her other siblings. She was the youngest of six so three of her siblings were already married and having kids. I went to ask Mom if I could go. She immediately said no, which was usual. We were never allowed to go many places without Mom being there, too. I protested and she said, “They don’t really want you over there. She’s just being nice and inviting you.”
At the time, all I remember feeling was fury. I was so mad at her for not letting me go. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized I still hear those words in my head whenever I’m in a crowd or trying to decide whether to go to a party or a shower or any sort of gathering. I hear, “You aren’t wanted in that group. Nobody really cares if you are there. They don’t like you. They won’t tell you not to come, but that’s only because it would look bad if they did. They just don’t want you.”
I would never tell my mom this. As a mother myself, my heart breaks when my boys let slip with something I said to them that was really hurtful. I don’t want to hurt her, so I would never tell her about this. (don’t worry. she thinks the internet is where the devil lives, so she’ll never find my blog or anyone else’s for that matter!)
Finally pinning down the root of this thing has been good for me. I’m not comparing my mother with satan, but these days when I hear those words, I know he is the one saying them. Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize after I’ve already let the sting of rejection wash over me, but I’m trying to get better at that.
That’s how I feel about my book. I get these nudges that I feel must be from God that I should write it and I feel that some of the things in it would be helpful for others who are struggling…be it depression or a marriage problem like we had or just knowing someone else out here has and is dealing with the same things. Then here comes that voice…“Why in the world would anyone want to read about you! laughter You’re nobody and your little life is nothing to be excited about. You can’t even put the words together anymore, so how will you do it anyway?”
Today, when my ancient laptop refused to boot up, I instantly started hearing “This is a sign that you should give up on the book.” I have my draft saved on here. Over 8,000 words that I worked hard to get out of me. The thought of doing it again was horrific! So, I am going to save my draft to a thumb drive. I know. It’s about time, right?Obviously, the hubby came home and “fixed” my computer with just a few keystrokes. I don’t ask questions, I just go with it. And I continue to ponder the latest sermon series at church…all about growth.
It has just been like an extra push when I’m sitting there listening and there’s scriptural confirmation that I need to “just do it”, as they say. This one really hit me hard…
“It is difficult to sense the presence of God in your life when you ignore the purpose God has for your life.”
The “main point” of becoming a Jesus follower is to lead others to follow Jesus. So in that way, we all know what our purpose is. We don’t have to wonder. Your way of leading people to Jesus is probably a lot different than mine. I feel like within that “main point” lies our purpose, our gift, our God-given talent. If we will focus ourselves on “the main point”, then our purpose, our “reason for being” will become clear. Does that make sense? For instance, if you have a musical talent, you can use that talent without the “main point” in mind or you can do what you love, what you’re best at, as a starting point to show others the love of Christ. Like if your gift was music…you could play and sing just any old songs, or you could use your talents to share Christ with people. See?
Okay, well I’m just going to hope this made sense to you. It seems to take me so long to get posts together anymore that I am writing a single post in two or more sessions and I lose my focus. I really hate that and am hoping to get past this soon. I have a ton of stuff to catch you up on but for now, I’ll close this one.
Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons. Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!
Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made. Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made. I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids. Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice! There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.
I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother. I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days. But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children. I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas. Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it. Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives. My boys are no exception to that. I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.
While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well. He never attended any other type of school than at home. My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent. He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him. If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all. And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.
I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically. I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.
By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons. He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that. When he’d refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation. And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements. But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse. He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.
Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with. It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area. I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much. He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems, he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them. I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey. I say “sided” because that’s how it felt. In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions. The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.
All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about. He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space. We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things. When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again. What kind of mother am I to not know?? To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene?? Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting? Those thoughts bring the tears, even now. Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.
All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys. And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!
You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job. The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application! Out of the blue. Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally. I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home? I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.
Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things. They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help. Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.
When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before. And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass. It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work. There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance. There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home. No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job. As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.
It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing. So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before. It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working. Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.
I love my dad, don’t get me wrong. But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes. Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so! I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses. I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes. Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was. Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path. Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around. I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.
Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time. And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time. Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey. It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to. Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder. It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things. It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.
In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job. He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself. That’s a good problem to have. Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here. Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first. It was just a lot on his plate.
But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once. They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came. All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January! They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once! It was crazy times, let me tell ya!
And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this. I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state! And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey. It was like total shock!
Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that. I think they really appreciated our help. It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain? That was just God, y’all. He was just working through the entire thing.
They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet! Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff. Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them. It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January). Ha. Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well. Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.
Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too. I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too. They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers! But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know. Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company. It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company. They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees. They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices! How cool is that? You won’t find many companies that think this way!
Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well. For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job. Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled! Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship. I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members. Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married. It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.
I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why. Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity? I just don’t know.
Things just change over time, and I know that. I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away. Growing up, they were each other’s best friend. As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends. Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend. Not that he tried to leave Casey behind. It wasn’t like that at all. Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with. I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow? I don’t know why. At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience. Maybe I didn’t see everything. I don’t know.
I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening? Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too? I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted. How did I mess it up so bad?
How could I fail so bad? So big? Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years. Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil? He was a teenager. He was surly and aloof. We thought he needed his space. We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip. He grew more and more hateful toward me. He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why. I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me. I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.
My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down. To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it. So I just tried to keep from losing it. After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying. I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him. Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true? I don’t know. It was just the only way I knew to deal with it. So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone a little bit.
If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes. It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days. Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home. I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money. We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.
All of that is a lot for my brain. I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed. I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed. I have a lot to be thankful for. Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill… that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.
Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me. He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through. I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression. I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid. I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet. Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid. I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles. I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did. To show us that it’s never too late.
So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it. Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine. Feeling SO tired of worrying. So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God. Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways…. just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better. I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.
God always has me. This I know. <3
Hey guys! I’m back from my unintentional hiatus. As I have alluded previously, things around here have been crazy what with the kids moving to Ohio and me being sick and now the hubbs is dealing with some medical stuff.
He had allergy testing a couple weeks ago and lit up like a Christmas tree for a LOT of things. Mostly foods and environmental. Several trees and grasses (hay fever), the usual indoor culprits (dust thingies) and a whole list of the oddest foods. Strangely enough (or not!) most of the foods were things he had eaten recently. WEIRD!
So, we’ve gone off all these foods. I’m talking things like wheat (yeah, his celiac tests came back negative, but he’s allergic to wheat and I don’t quite understand that just yet), carrots, grapes, coconut, apples…WHA?? Yeah, weird. Oh, and turkey! Pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds… sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes!
Poor guy, he was pretty stunned and dazed. You’d think after living all these years with a type 1 diabetic, he’d be used to the concept of not being able to eat certain things, but nope. He seems so baffled. It’s all I can do not to say, “See? Welcome to my life!” heh! But no, I haven’t done that. But occasionally I REALLY want to!
On top of finding out about all the allergies, he then had to begin the prep for a double scope. From the top and the bottom. Yikes! So then he had to go off things like rice (which is what most ‘wheat free’ things are made of) and fresh fruit and veggies (seriously?) and nothing purple, red or blue… that was only for 5 days, thank God. Then on the last day, he had to do liquids only and take that nasty diarrhea stuff then drink like 40-some ounces of clear liquid immediately after. Egads!!
He did okay but it was a challenge figuring out what he could eat. During the 5 day thing, we were in Cincy with Corey and Melissa, so that actually helped since Corey has celiac disease and has learned what to avoid for that. We just basically put Tommy on a celiac diet with the added restrictions from his allergy test and/or his prep diet. My brain was fried after all that food juggling! And that’s not counting my own food restrictions like dairy and super-acidic foods that either give me horrible sinus issues or cause my tongue to swell and crack. (yes, crack…it’s so painful!) It’s a wonder we can find anything to eat between us! Ha ha ha!
So back to the scopes.. this was the same gastro doctor he went to for scopes before, so we were thrilled to get in with her. It was probably three years ago when he had his first one done and we hadn’t seen this doctor since. Anyway, she said there wasn’t any new damage, thank God… no ulcers or any thing like that. But his stomach was a raw, irritated mess. She said the same thing about this irritation, which he also had on his first scan years ago…get off the NSAIDs. He’s been on those off and on (mostly on) for ages because of the pain in his back and legs, specifically his Achilles tendon. It tightens up so much, it had tears the last time he saw a rheumatologist. He went off the NSAIDs then, but ended up in misery so the GP he had at the time put him on a “new” pain med that he said wouldn’t bother his stomach. Yeah, whatever. And so now, he’s been having pain under his ribs on the right side, classic gallbladder/stones symptoms, so he’d had an ultrasound the week before. We hadn’t heard those results though and they hadn’t forwarded them to the gastro doc, so we had to wait around to get those. The report from the imaging center only said the tech saw nothing that “needs immediate attention” but the gastro doc wasn’t good with that and told us she’d look at it herself. The next day, they called Tommy to schedule a hida scan.
Hmmm… me thinks there WAS something needing attention on the ultrasound. A hida scan is when they put that radioactive dye in an IV and then have you hang around for scans over a few hours to watch the dye move through the gallbladder. Nice.
I’ve had radioactive dye stuff done before. It’s scary to think about, but apparently I survived without issue (that we know of, at least!) but we don’t want to do that if we don’t have to. Besides, we’ve already knocked this year’s deductible in the head with these tests and don’t want to add more bills to the heap. I’m sure the hida will be uber expensive.
ANYway, so Tommy started looking up stuff on the gallbladder online, which was surprising and exciting. He usually is all, “Well if the doctor says I need to, I won’t question it.” while I’m all like, “NO! Don’t do that, I don’t care what the doctor said!” Heh. And I joined him in the research til we found all this info on a gallbladder flush.
Maybe you’ve heard of this before. I guess I sort-of had during my time working in the health food store, but being the youngster I was, I didn’t really ponder it. Back then, with my fully functional 20-something body, it all sounded gross and like something only old people needed to think about.
Well, guess what, Poopsie! You’re OLD now! sigh
We looked at several sites and watched a bunch of videos detailing what the gallbladder does and what the flush does for you. One doctor said, “If you’re 40 or older, you WILL have some gall stones which may or may not give you symptoms or at the very least, you will have developed sludge (thickened bile) in there which leads to stones.” Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
When Tommy realized that the gallbladder helps the liver in filtering toxins and such, he was all like, I NEED my gallbladder! At this point, we knew that if something showed on the hida, they’d most likely want to take his gallbladder out. So after months and months of me telling him he needed to change his habits or he was gonna be big as a horse and have a heart attack…he’s ready to commit to changing his diet.
Of course, I have to do it too. And I get that. I mean, I don’t stick with a diet unless he’s at least supporting me if not also doing it too. It’s just easier that way. He’s just not always willing to be talked into being supportive!
I figure a flush will not hurt me either. I mean, I am in that magical area they talked about…”over 40″, so I’m sure I have my share of sludgey-crapola in there too.
We made a run to the Aldi in the next town over since they have so much affordable gluten free and organic stuff. We got organic olive oil and lemons and apple juice. Yes, even though he tested positive for apple allergy, and he DID have some slight allergic symptoms (looking back, that is) after eating apples like a slight scratchy throat, we figure doing the juice instead of whole apples would be less irritating. The pectin in the apples is supposed to soften the stones so they come loose or become soft enough to pass out of the gallbladder.
We read anywhere from 5 to 14 days to either eat 5 apples a day (Gah!) or drink 2 cups of apple juice twice a day before doing the actual flush. Then, you go on a very low- to no-fat diet for a couple days then choose your day to flush.
Obviously, you need to stick close to home/the bathroom for this. So even though we (he) don’t have time to do a full week with the juice before the hida scan (this coming Thursday!) we’re still going to do it. After the apple juice days, on flush day, you stop eating at 2 pm then you begin a schedule of drinking an Epsom salt/water mixture at 6 and 8 pm. They have you lie on your right side after each dose (to allow the mixture to gravitate to the gallbladder). The Epsom salt helps open up the bile ducts in the gallbladder so the stones and sludge can move out easily. At 10 pm, after you’ve gone potty (so you don’t have to get up during the night), you drink an olive oil/lemon juice mixture and go to bed. Again, lying on your right side, as still as possible for at least 40 minutes. At 6 am, you drink another dose of Epsom, lie back down, then same thing again at 8 am and then at 10 am, you can eat. They say very light, bland foods and wait for the “magic” to happen.
By this time, of course, you have effectively given yourself the screaming trots which is the mechanism by which that sludgey-stoney goop is to exit your body.
Oddly enough, none of these instructional sites give any detail about how long or how um…er.. intense this phase of the flush is, but I’m guessing it’s gotta be pretty daggone epic.
On one site where we found this flush recipe, the guy (an Oriental doctor, I think) asks for photos of your results. BAHAHA!! Um, nope. I don’t think so, pal. I’ll be doing well if I can find the handle with my eyes closed to flush the toilet, okay?
Oh yeah, in an effort to keep him from being in so much pain from going off NSAIDs, we are using tart cherry juice and tumeric. I’ve wanted to try the tumeric drink (sometimes called “golden milk”) for awhile after hearing that it’s good for inflammation and helps you sleep. I could use some-a that. So we also bought coconut milk (which, for any T1D out there, has NO CARBS!) and organic tumeric. I made a batch last night and it’s not bad. I was afraid the coconut milk would be strong, but it’s not. I don’t really like the taste of coconut which is weird since I use coconut oil for everything! Anyhow, coconut was a 1 on Tommy’s list of allergies, meaning it was a mild irritant, so we’re going to use it anyway with the hope that getting his gallbladder flushed will relieve these silly allergies! Anyhow, I thought the golden milk was actually sorta bland, so I think I’ll use a little more cinnamon next time. I ended up putting apple juice in it last night. Heh.
So there you have it. You’re mostly caught up on the doin’s around here. Hopefully, this ol’ gal will start feeling better soon. I’ll let you know AFTER I’ve recovered from this flush.
Okay, well, maybe I am SOMEtimes, but not with the blog. My life has just been crazy lately, y’all!
Besides beginning treatment with my new chiropractor-friend from Emmaus, (an hour + drive each way!) I went camping in The Gorge with some of my kiddos this past weekend. Observe:
My eldest kids are all into rock climbing. I have no clue where they would get such a crazy affection, but they have it bad. They’ve gone from rock gyms to climbing outdoors in the real world (where there are no mats on the floor, guys!) and even worse, my baby boy does “lead” climbing which is when they go up a route where there is no rope, only anchors, and they attach the rope as they climb so that the other climbers can then “top rope”, which a tons safer because they are secured with the rope that anchors to the top and is controlled by a belayer. Just trust me, I was not really thrilled to hear that Corey was doing lead climbing now!
We really love going to Red River Gorge, despite the hour + drive. Honestly, we know we’re blessed to have such an awesome natural wonder so near our home! It’s a rock climber’s dream and people from all over the country (& even other countries!) come here for the climbing.
Some of us, however, are just there to lazy around…
Make note of the area underneath the hammock, if you will, for reference in a later story…Yes, it’s every bit as hard and sloped and dangerous as it looks.
Tommy may not have been the only one who “lazied”… after the all-natural a/c, this was my favorite part:
My little Max was always up for an adventure, but he also was no fool about taking advantage of the natural air conditioning available! Neither was I, obviously!
I thought I was going to get by without having to worry about the Hubs getting himself killed, but nope. He had to give it a try too…
Thankfully, he made it back down using the rope and not natural gravity after realizing it just wasn’t gonna happen. He got farther than I thought he might. Ha..farther than I would have! Abby made it to the top of this route, classified as a 5.9 (don’t ask me, but they said this was impressive)! She was worn out afterward, which is to be expected, but I was really proud of the little stinker! She’s lots braver than me!
The poor dogs got worn out considerably sooner. You’d have thought they were the ones climbing rock walls…but I guess it’s not really much fun tromping around the woods in a fur coat, huh?
The Gorge has some very awesome eating establishments, too. Even though we had packed food to prepare at camp, we ended up at SkyBridge more than once. It’s the closest to the campground we were at and not only has awesome food, but a great atmosphere. You just don’t know what to expect from those guys at SkyBridge…
Here’s only a portion of the aftermath of one of our trips to SkyBridge:
We camped at Koomer Ridge campground and it has become our favorite. Abby and Austin had to leave Saturday night and then Corey and Melissa left early Sunday morning, so that left Tommy, Max and myself all on our own the rest of the day.
Tommy and I had a super-relaxed morning, just slowly packing up while cooking ourselves a monstrous breakfast and waiting to watch our church service stream live.
Can’t let you go without a shot of the great cast iron setup we have…some of the cookware is Corey’s, but Tommy made the stand, which also doubles as a free-standing tripod, on his forge.
Most of The Gorge, or “The Red” as the climbers refer to it, is located within Daniel Boone National Forest and the area just abounds in natural beauty and all manner of outdoor adventures. Natural Bridge State Park is another awesome attraction as well as things like Nada Tunnel and the Gladie Welcome Center.
So, referring back to the rough terrain located underneath the hammock that was hung while we were out with the climbers… we moved it from the location in the photo to another place, steeper and with more jutting rocks underneath. Tommy insisted I sit in it since there was no glorious air conditioning rock-crack at the next place. I did and was enjoying watching the kids when he comes over and proceeds to wriggle his big ol’ self up in the thing with me!
I immediately started protesting, telling him he was going to “break the trees”, only it wasn’t the trees I should have worried about. I was really NOT happy that he’d got in there and would have gotten out if it hadn’t been such a physical challenge, but I was thinking about the easiest way to get up out of the thing when PING… I heard the odd noise and immediately felt the hammock move beneath me and BAM we hit the ground, right on top of those big rocks sticking out of the ground and proceeded to slide down the steep slope.
ARGH! Yes, really, I could have clobbered Tommy right then. He still has a red welt on his back and I’m still nursing the bruises. Then I had to explain that all to my chiropractor the next day. Sheesh!
You’re welcome. It seems everyone got a good laugh from that one. sigh
Other “injuries” sustained include my poor foot…I’m making this a small photo in black and white in the hopes of not grossing anyone out, but my right foot has always had this big callous of a thing that always has a shallow split. But when I walked up the steep grades with my Chacos (which have a rough inner sole) I ended up with it splitting further, so much so it began to hurt.
Tommy, also in his Chacos all weekend, but only because he forgot his boots, ended up with terribly swollen feet. Maybe it’s just old age?
Anyhow, I’m really not slacking…I’m just busy adventuring and being battered by nature. Hahahaha!!
Til next time!
Pardon the drama up there, but I’m feelin’ pretty raunchy today. Not sure what’s up really. I’m achy and my sinuses are not very happy. I feel like I have been awake for a week straight. (but I promise you, I haven’t) I’ve slept almost all day and nope, I didn’t stay up last night. I was in bed around 11pm which is pretty normal for me. I slept fairly sound in spite of my Dex alerting that I was “high” for several hours. Max never got me up, so I probably slept better than on some nights.
I just have no clue why I’m so worn out and feeling so cuh-rappy other than my night of waiting for a high blood sugar to resolve!
The worst of it lasted for about 4 hours last night. I bolused for and ate a small bowl of cereal (Rice Chex–yay!) with unsweetened vanilla almond milk earlier in the evening. Later, I crashed, so I ate another yummy bowl. (seriously, it had been a few years since I’d indulged in cereal! it’s one of my faves!) Slowly, my sugar rose to a good level…and just kept going.
This isn’t mine. I didn’t snap it because I hate seeing a jagged line.
Don’t you hate it when your sugar is going up and all you can do is watch…and wait for the insulin to kick in? Ugh! I didn’t want to crash myself again, so I tried to refrain from rage-bolusing. So it wasn’t until much later that again, I went low. Not really crashing, but just gradually getting lower until finally. my alert went off that I was below 60. I’m sure most of that was due to it being the time of morning I am normally dropping lower slowly like that.
I got up and ate some peanut butter crackers and drank a little juice. I was so worn out though I just fell back into bed. I had taken my thyroid medicine a few hours earlier when Tommy went to work and I got up to fix his breakfast. And now, finally I have taken the rest of my meds, but I just feel so YUCKY!
I’ve been taking my thyroid meds with some vitamin C powder. Why? I read that it helps with absorption. I’m not sure yet if it’s worth the 8 carbs I have to bolus for the powder, but we’ll see when I go back to the endo. It’d be great if I could get on a lower dose of Synthroid for sure! Right now, I’m taking 175mcg and 200mcg alternately. Fun. (not)
The reason my head feels so crappy is possibly because Friday I met Tommy for lunch at Taco Bell where I got my usual Mexican Pizza combo. I really should have stopped after the pizza since I was feeling pretty full already, but I didn’t want to waste the tacos that came with it and Tommy was telling me I hadn’t eaten enough (like he knows? argh) So I ate part of the taco, which had sour cream on it. I stopped eating when I hit the sour cream, or at least I thought I did. I knew I’d gotten a little of it, but a teeny bit hadn’t been bothering me.
But oh, boy! Saturday morning I was a wreck! I had to drag out the netti pot, I was so stopped up. And we had planned to go with Corey and Mel to this thing in Bowling Green that day. It was an attempt to break the Guinness World record for most people simultaneously hanging in hammocks. I know, kinda weird, but it sounded fun and we originally thought the rest of the kids were going, but a couple of them along with Casey and Tay decided to go to King’s Island instead! hmph! Taylor’s birthday was Friday. I’d been trying all week to get up with her to give a gift to her, but we didn’t get to do that til Sunday because the child has been gone somewhere with somebody every single night/day. The King’s Island trip was part of her birthday, so we went without them and ended up being a party of 7.
We had a good time. We almost melted in the heat, but it was okay since none of us actually died. heh We didn’t break the record. The event just wasn’t organized very well and that may have been part of it. We fell almost 200 people short, but they did raise over a thousand dollars for their animal shelter. I guess it was worth it. Ha!
See? In spite of the 100-degree heat, we had fun. Who couldn’t laugh with this buncha nuts?!
And Mama had a good line most all day, too! YAY!
And almost all of us were really cool… Ha, ha, ha!
So yeah, I have been either busy with stuff or just feeling raunchy or dealing with another issue that I’ll cover in another post and I completely flaked out on last week’s frankly friday. Sorry, guys. Heh. Like there were any of you out there waiting with baited breath, right? Ha, ha, ha!!
Finally, I’m rocking a fairly steady line hovering in the 140-range. Thank God! I hate rollercoaster days!
Tomorrow night, my baby kids are off on their third trip to Haiti since they got married in 2014! I thought I’d die the first time they went for a week.
The second time, they weren’t planning to go but they were needed there so badly (Tay for her RN and Case for his carpentry/plumbing/electrical skills) that the church raised enough money to send them. Those were one-week trips.
This time, it’s two weeks! ACK! And, poor little Taylor got the dates mixed up so instead of leaving Friday at midnight, they are supposed to leave TOMORROW night! EGADS!! So we’re cancelling our discipleship group so we can help them get ready.
We mainly need to get their clothes soaked to keep the Zika virus away. We are keeping their golden retriever while they’re gone too. Ol’ Biscuit is gonna be in heaven with Samson and Max to play with.
So if you happen to think of it the next couple of weeks, please pray for the team, my babies and the work they’re doing down there.
Thank you so much!
So you probably get it by now that I am in favor of marriage. Marriage is important. It’s vitally important to defend and fight for your marriage. No matter what’s going on, aside from outright abuse, your marriage is worth a fight. It’s worth laying aside all your pride, rolling up your sleeves and getting in the mud and muck and fighting like all of hell is after you. Because it is.
Satan hates a strong, godly marriage where the family puts God first and rejects the world’s image of disposable marriages, discounted vows, discouraged couples and disaffected children, dismantled stability, discarded families. You’d better believe he’s after your marriage.
As you’ve seen, if you have read here much at all, our marriage was very atypical in many ways. We didn’t have that crazy first year with tons of sex and exploring our intimate life together, figuring out what we liked best, what each other wanted most, etc. Our first year was confusing…bewildering even. We didn’t understand why sex was so hard for us…for me. We were still hanging on to hope that time would take care of the issues, that it was just a matter of “trying more” or getting used to it…or SOMEthing!!
By the time we finally decided we needed medical help, we had been dealing with it for ten years, had two kids and for all intents and purposes, we looked like every other young couple. Nobody knew how we were struggling. We didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even each other except to yell when the frustration became too much.
I want to get Tommy to sit down with me and do a video. I’m not sure what he’ll think about that ha ha but I think it would be good for him to at least say a little bit about his side of things. We are both healing together. Even though the physical side of the problem was mine as far as the pain went, and perhaps I bore more of the depression and stuff like that, but he carried a lot of emotional pain as well.
We’ve never talked a whole lot about that. I mean, I have shared a little, just me and him, about how I felt and then of course, he’s heard me relate it to my therapist and read what I’ve written here about it, but we’ve never really discussed his side so much.
He might not want to. Maybe he never knew how to voice it or maybe it hurt too much to speak out loud. I have been in that place too, where I didn’t know how to put into words the way I felt.
I know there are a few men who read here, or at least they have at one time. heh I would like to hear from ALL of you, what you would ask Tommy? Are there parts of this story that you’d like his take on? Are there things that you would like to know from his side?
Please put those in the comments for us? I would really love for us to have a conversation about where he was, emotionally, and where he is now as we are in the healing process. What would he have done differently? What would he keep the same, if anything? What made him choose to stay? Did he really still have hope that our sex life would ever be remotely normal? Those are the questions I want to ask. I’m not sure I’ll like the answers, but I think it’s important for us to flesh this out and I feel like maybe others could benefit from hearing his viewpoint.
DON’T FORGET! Leave your questions in the comments! (or you can email them to me at: geannie [at] lifeindogyears [dot] com)
It’s that time of year again. Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. I can’t imagine what my friends go through who have lost their mothers or perhaps don’t have the most loving moms. I am so thankful for my mom, even though she can drive me up a wall at times. She is the most giving person I know and she’ll kill herself trying to do for you, almost to the point of being ridiculous. I have a hard time keeping up with her or getting her to “behave”. She isn’t able anymore to work circles around everyone like she used to so I try to get her to take it easy. She’s getting a little better at it, but let one of us girls (me or my sis) get sick and need help and she goes crazy.
I have always been the opposite of her. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes not! She’s always superbly coifed and dressed to perfection while I am only comfy in jeans and tennis shoes. She is always worried about how everyone else perceives her (and us) while I usually couldn’t care less. She tends to be a nagger while I am more apt to take a less confrontational approach. She’s one of the only people on the earth who I love fiercely and want to strangle at the time time. Ha ha!
Thank you, Mom, for teaching me about manners and etiquette, for taking care of me all the millions of times I’ve needed you, for not killing me when I deserved it. For supporting me in your own way as I became a mom and did things completely different from you. Thanks for the kind words you have said or written about me to others that you probably don’t realize I know about. Even when I have been heartbroken over problems between us, I have always been thankful for you.
I pray you have an amazing Mother’s Day and EVERY day. I pray for you improved health and a closer walk with Jesus as we plod on into the future together as a family. I pray blessings on you each and every day! I love you, Mom.
Unlike Monday, this Tuesday was good. I didn’t feel super, but good enough to work in the garden. We haven’t put one out in a couple years. The last times we have, we’ve done it all by ourselves. It seemed like no one else was in the mood for it. We’d get comments about how it was too much work, it was cheaper to buy from the store or we weren’t keeping it the way “you’re supposed to”. That just meant we were doing something different than the way they or previous generations did it. sigh As you might guess, we get those kinds of comments about pretty much everything we do!
Dad just doesn’t and didn’t want to fool with the garden at all.It seems Mom has been the one suddenly just dying to have a garden this year. Every time she’d send Dad down to the house with the tractor and plow, if Tommy was around he’d make at least one comment about it, letting us all know he was completely against the idea. Actually, last time he had Tommy’s ear bent for almost 45 minutes! ha ha
Anyway, so after dumping the chicken poops all over the garden for the past couple years and getting it worked into the ground, we have probably the best-looking dirt we’ve ever had! YAY! The ground here is very clay-heavy and has never grown anything, including grass (see that bald spot at the lower left of the photo? ‘ats what I’m sayin’!) We’ve brought in cow manure in years past so every year we try to enhance the soil somehow. But this year it is just more rich-looking and less hard/crusty/mud-rocky. We are hopeful to get a lot better results this year! After looking at the following photo, it doesn’t really appear to be the greatest soil, but it is dry so just trust me, that dirt is the best we’ve ever had to plant!
our garden, all ready to plant!
Tommy took off work because that’s the only way we’ve ever been able to get a garden out without working into the night and pulling out all sorts of lights, fighting shadows and all that craziness. Today however, we had Mom and my brother-in-law, Dale, helping us! Mom often has Dale help her with things and already had him lined up to help with planting on Wednesday though I’m not sure why since she hadn’t mentioned it to us, but ANYhow, she was able to suddenly change his plans (I’m laughing because Mom does that kinda thing SO often!) and we had help!
Mom has to be careful because she’s got some kind of weird spasm thing in her shoulders, so I had to keep her from overdoing. She will get herself completely down in the bed just from something like sweeping or chopping vegetables. She could help drop seed and cover plants though, so we were able to actually get the entire garden planted, including putting up our “bean fence” which is a little labor intense, but is the best way we’ve found to keep the beans clean and give them plenty of room to vine. We put out several varieties of tomatoes and peppers, some broccoli seedlings, 45 day cabbage, squash and zucchini, two kinds of potatoes, cucumbers, a rhubarb plant, green beans and even some romaine lettuce.
the garden, all planted and ready to grow! God bless it with increase, please!
Tommy and I were SO glad to have that done. We weren’t expecting to have help so what normally would have taken us at least two days went much faster! Mom was tired, but we finally got her to go home when we were down to just filling in the last empty area of the garden with beans.
She was insistent that we put out a ton of beans. I would normally not put any more than goes around our bean fence, which amounts to four rows, but she wanted more, so we have eight rows, four of which aren’t on any sort of support. I don’t like picking dirty beans. Well wait, I don’t like picking beans at all, but especially if I have to crawl around in the dirt. That’s why we go to the trouble of putting up that fence. It keeps them up off the ground and they’re much easier to pick! I could tell Mom thought it was just crazy for us to spend the time and labor to put up our fence. I’ll be curious to see how much trouble she thinks it was when she’s having to deal with her extra rows on the ground. ha ha
I am sore and really tired and “sun-kissed”…well, aggressively sun-kissed, but not burned, thank God! My hands, which tend to get random, weird (probably neuropathy-related) itching-blisters anyway got even more torn up, but at least not itching.
my poor, sad diabetic/gardener hands
I went in, took a shower to wash the grit off and sacked out! Poor Tommy had to go do some running for the Jeep project, so he ended up coming in quite a bit later.
We have sewn the seed, now for God to send the right amounts of sun and rain and deliver the increase! Let it be so, we pray!
Blessings to you!
I just wanted to let you guys know about this. They are running an awesome deal on Cricut! I thought this was a terrific deal and I have ALWAYS WANTED A CRICUT! Maybe one of these days, I’ll have one! Ha ha…
For those of you who are closer to “the dream” of owning one than I am, this one’s for you!
If your house is anything like mine, your husband and kids wouldn’t mind some help figuring out what you’d like for Mother’s Day! Tell them not to worry about it. You have it all taken care of… “and thank you!” 🙂